Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Baxter-Knutson v. Brandt

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 3, 2015

Kathleen C. Baxter-Knutson, as trustee for the next-of-kin of Kyle Allan Baxter-Jensen, Plaintiff,
v.
Travis Brandt, Elaine Byker, Stearns County, and John Does 1-9, Defendants.

Robert Bennett, Esq., Gaskins, Bennett, Birrell, Schupp, LLP, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Plaintiff.

Melissa Dosick Riethof, Esq., Meagher & Geer, PLLP, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Defendants Elaine Byker and John Does 7-9.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ANN D. MONTGOMERY, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

On May 20, 2015, the undersigned United States District Judge heard oral argument on Defendants Elaine Byker and John Does 7-9's (collectively, "Defendants") Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket No. 22].[1] Plaintiff Kathleen C. Baxter-Knutson ("Baxter-Knutson") opposes the Motion. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion is denied.

II. BACKGROUND

On November 13, 2010, Kyle Allan Baxter-Jensen ("Baxter-Jensen") was arrested for driving while intoxicated, driving after revocation, and driving without proof of insurance. Am. Compl. [Docket No. 8] ¶ 12.[2] When Baxter-Jensen arrived at the Stearns County Jail, he reported on a jail screening form that he was taking two antidepressants. Id . ¶ 14. A handwritten note was added to Baxter-Jensen's screening form that said "he would tell an ofc. if he felt like harming himself." Id . ¶ 16.

The morning of November 14, 2010, Baxter-Jensen checked out a razor from a correctional officer. Id . ¶¶ 19, 20. Approximately twenty-five minutes later, the correctional officer discovered Baxter-Jensen face down on his bunk with a large amount of blood in his cell, a serious neck wound, as well as wounds on each wrist. Id . ¶¶ 21, 23. Baxter-Jensen told responders that he wished he had not been found and that he wanted to die. Id . ¶ 25.

Baxter-Jensen was treated at St. Cloud Hospital where he received twenty-six staples and multiple sutures in his neck, as well as six sutures in his left wrist and twelve sutures in his right wrist. Id . ¶¶ 28, 30, 31. Baxter-Jensen reported to hospital personnel that his wounds were the result of a suicide attempt. Id . ¶ 32.

Baxter-Jensen returned to the Stearns County Jail that very same day. Id . ¶ 41. He told jail staff that he would not hurt himself again. Id . The following day, Baxter-Jensen completed a suicide risk assessment with a clinical social worker. Id . ¶ 44. He denied suicidal ideation and rated himself as not being a risk for further suicide attempts. Id . The social worker who administered the assessment doubted the accuracy of Baxter-Jensen's self-rating. Id . ¶ 45.

The next day, November 16, a physician conducted a mental health assessment of Baxter-Jensen. Id . ¶ 48. The assessment concluded Baxter-Jensen needed to be on "close observation" due to his depression. Id . Two days later, a correctional officer heard Baxter-Jensen tell his girlfriend that she could keep his things because he was not going to need them anymore. Id . ¶ 49. The next day, Elaine Byker, a member of the medical staff, noted that Baxter-Jensen was "upset but not suicidal" and just wanted to have his precautions changed. Id . ¶ 50.

On November 20, 2010, a Doe defendant discontinued Baxter-Jensen's "suicide risk" classification. Id . ¶ 51. Baxter-Jensen, however, remained on "close observation" and "razor watch." Id . ¶ 52. Baxter-Jensen was moved to a cell with a roommate. Id . Baxter-Jensen's roommate was not advised of the razor restriction. Id . On November 30, 2010, Baxter-Jensen's "close observation" was discontinued, though his razor restriction remained in place. Id . ¶ 55. During a phone call on December 3, 2010, Baxter-Jensen told his girlfriend, "I won't probably talk to you many more times..., " and "I just wish it could all end, you know...." Id . ¶ 58.

On December 4, 2010, at approximately 8:05 a.m., a correctional officer issued two razors to Baxter-Jensen's roommate, who brought them to his cell. Id . ¶¶ 73, 74. Shortly thereafter, Baxter-Jensen left the cell and entered the shower. Id . ¶ 76. At approximately 8:12 a.m., a correctional officer knocked on Baxter-Jensen's shower door and received a verbal response. Id . ¶ 78. An inmate knocked on Baxter-Jensen's shower door at approximately 8:20 a.m., then quickly got the correctional officer's attention. Id . ¶ 80. The correctional officer discovered Baxter-Jensen in the shower, lying face-down in a puddle of blood. Id . ¶ 81. Pieces of a disassembled razor were found on the floor of the shower, near Baxter-Jensen. Id . ¶ 82. Resuscitation attempts failed and Baxter-Jensen was pronounced dead at approximately 9:10 a.m. that same morning. Id . ¶ 88. The cause of death was a self-inflicted neck wound. Id . ¶¶ 89, 92.

On July 21, 2014, Baxter-Jensen's mother, Baxter-Knutson, was appointed trustee for the next-of-kin of Baxter-Jensen. Id . ¶ 3. On September 24, 2014, three years and 294 days after Baxter-Jensen's death, Baxter-Knutson initiated this lawsuit. Seeking recovery of damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Baxter-Knutson alleges that the Defendants were deliberately indifferent to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.